Dr. Tom Shipp, the long time pastor of Lovers Lane United Methodist Church translated his calling to provide help and recovery for the alcoholic, by drawing on his community of faith to realize this mission. Dr. Shipp was dedicated to helping the alcoholic by embracing them as members of the church and offered one on one counseling to anyone needing his help. Then, in September 1977 Dr. Don Benton became the pastor of LLUMC and he too understood the importance and impact of ministering to the alcoholic. In 1989 Dr. Benton initiated the expansion of ministry programs at the church and the congregation purchased the Center for Spiritual Development (CSD) located at 5324 W. Northwest Highway, Dallas, Texas.
In October 1991 Dr. Benton along with his son Don Jr., “Dink” launched the Twelfth Step Ministry at LLUMC and Dink became the founding director of the program. Dink Benton developed the Twelfth Step Ministry in order to provide recovery services to a variety of people suffering with addictions.
Since the early 1990’s the Twelfth Step Ministry has been providing recovery and support services to community members in North Texas. Then in December 2005 the Twelfth Step Ministry was formalized and incorporated with it’s own board of directors.
Following Dink’s departure from the Twelfth Step Ministry, Bob Dicken took over in 1997 and served as director until 2009. During Bob’s tenure he helped to add and expand the number of twelve step recovery fellowships to the Center’s programming and provided information and referral services to those in our community.
In January, 2013 the Twelfth Step Ministry was awarded the Community Organization of the Year, by the Texas Association of Addiction Professionals, Dallas Chapter. In both 2013 and 2014 the Twelfth Step Ministry was recognized by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) of the White House, as a leader in the recovery community, and in October, 2014, the Twelfth Step Ministry received the Corporate Community Leadership award from Caron Texas. The Twelfth Step Ministry has achieved both local and national recognition as the leading recovery center in the Southwest.
The Board of Directors are committed to the continuation of the Twelfth Step Ministry’s mission, to provide a safe inclusive community which delivers hope, support, education and training to the recovery and professional communities in North Texas. From its inception, the principles of the Twelfth Step Ministry formed the essence of our heritage and today act as the cornerstone for our mission of service to the North Texas community.